We have always considered Greece as…
“Since the start of our activity in Greece, the total turnover from factoring services without right if exceeds € 358 million.” says Mr. Christos Theodosiou, head of BFF Banking Group in Greece. He adds that “for another year, we continue our positive course, as in the nine months of 2022, new works in Greece registered an impressive increase of 77% compared to the corresponding period last year.”
– You are charting a dynamic growth trajectory in Greece, a fact that is also reflected in your recent financial figures. From which areas of your activity do you derive the highest profits and how does the Greek market differ – if it does – from the rest of Europe?
In 2017, the company started its operation in the Greek market, and from then until today it is the only company in the country that offers factoring services without recourse to E.S.Y.’s suppliers. and the wider public sector. Non-recourse factoring is the flagship service of our portfolio, and in this field we have over 35 years of market experience, having worked with both public bodies and private companies across Europe. Since the start of our activity in Greece, the total turnover from non-recourse factoring services exceeds € 358 million. For another year this year, we continue our positive course, as in the first nine months of 2022, new business in Greece registered an impressive increase of the order of 77% compared to the corresponding period last year. The demand for financial financial tools is particularly high in the Greek market. The main advantage of non-recourse factoring is the fact that the customer fully assigns their reports to BFF, which means that they are de-recognised from their Balance Sheet. Our clients obtain this form of immediate liquidity thanks to our payment of the nominal value of the receivables on a predetermined date, which can then be used to meet their needs. In this way, we act as a link between our clients and the Government, making the cooperation between them more efficient.
– Which business sectors present the highest growth/expansion prospects for the services you offer.
As mentioned, we provide services to Government suppliers and therefore the sectors of the market where we see significant growth are the sector of Medical and Biotechnology companies, the Energy sector, the Pharmaceutical sector, the Facilities Management Services sector and the sector of Information Technology and Telecommunications.
– What are the next steps you are planning in Greece? How do you think RRF funding will affect your development?
We have always considered Greece as a strategic market and that is why we pursued our physical presence in the country through our branch in Athens. We believe that the personalized services we provide, which meet the needs of NHS and Government suppliers, will be critical for years to come. Our goal is to continue to support our clients to make efficient use of their liquidity, leveraging the advantages of factoring. In the coming months, thanks to the Recovery Fund, there will be new investment and development countries in Greece, but also in the rest of Europe, and businesses will be asked to choose the most effective uses of the resulting funds to create value. We believe that our services will continue to act as growth multipliers, as factoring can help businesses make optimal use of these funds, leveraging the liquidity provided to them through the solution.
– What has changed due to the pandemic in employee-leadership relations and how much has this change affected the choice of the organization’s goals?
The pandemic we all experienced was a critical period for the balance of the economy, for citizens and for the entire health system. It became a period of challenges with a negative impact on people’s lives and the productive way of countries. Of course, there were businesses that saw a rise in sales and media, especially those whose goods and services were in high demand due to their connection to the health crisis. Nor can we say that there are not various other factors of interest which can be considered as positive to all the negative contributions of the pandemic. If we consider that digital processes and services as well as new working models have experienced significant growth and possibly brought a new revolution in the way we use technology in our work, then we come to the conclusion that even in the midst of very negative situations, people have the inventive capacity to do things better and faster. Throughout the pandemic, BFF employees have shown exceptional professional maturity, responsibility for the assigned tasks, as well as for the development of the company. In April 2021, BFF published ‘Covid Pulse’, a survey which aimed to explore the experiences of workers and help us understand the difficulties likely to arise in view of their imminent return to a physical presence work regime in workplace, which would be done gradually and of course observing all the necessary protection measures. With a participation rate of 91%, the results of the survey were very positive in relation to the way the company responded to the challenges of the pandemic. In addition, in October 2021, BFF also published its semi-annual “Purpose Survey”. With 82% participation, the survey aimed to analyze behaviors directly related to the company’s performance while also analyzing how the internal corporate society can be completed in the success of the BFF Banking Group. The results of these two surveys led to the creation of an action plan, which was implemented over the last two years, and included initiatives aimed at shaping an even better working environment in the Group that simultaneously supports the development of our strategic goals.
– Compliance with ESG principles is a basic condition for an organization to even have funding in the near future. How much have you prepared in this context and how much does it affect the management model of your own organization?
BFF is well aware of the ever-increasing importance of ESG principles in an increasingly globalized context and daily focuses on issues related to sustainability. We are starting to integrate ESG factors into our strategy, as part of a gradual transition towards sustainability and value creation in the long term, for the benefit of all internal and external stakeholders. In addition, the latest ESG Risk Rating by Sustainalytics – as part of an independent assessment – placed our company in the “Low Risk” category, which proves how BFF can be considered to have low exposure to unmanaged ESG risks.